AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert via Daylife
JuJu’s back! Justine Henin has started her “second career,” as she’s calling it, on a two match winning streak. She took the trophy this weekend at the Women’s Tennis Trophy exhibition in Charleroi, Belgium, scoring a confidence boosting 6-4, 6-4 win over current World No. 12 and Fed Cup champ Flavia Pennetta in the final. She beat 81-ranked countrywoman Kirsten Flipkens in the semis. Sure it’s just an exhibition, but at this point, it’s (almost) all good for Justine Henin:
“It’s not my [best level of] tennis, for sure, but that’s what I expected. But I’m physically in perfect shape, my right knee that I had the operation on. And my attitude this evening was perfect.” Justine told reporters after the semifinal. (via tennis.com)
Here’s some video of Justine Henin’s matches at the Women’s Tennis Trophy exhibition. That one-handed backhand is a sight for this tennis snob’s sore eyes!
Henin vs. Flipkens:
Henin vs. Pennetta: this appeared to be more hit, less giggle. And a backhand return winner for the match!
I know there were plenty of errors mixed in with the great shot making, but just seeing this little bit of footage makes me really excited for Henin’s official return to the tour. Besides an exhibition against Nadia Petrova this month in Cairo, Justine will be tuning up for the 2010 Australian Open in Brisbane, a WTA tour “International” level event starting on January 3rd.
Henin’s self-esteem is already high enough for her to be addressing herself in the third person:
“It is another Justine Henin who will try and go out there and achieve her dream of finally winning Wimbledon,” Henin told reporters this weekend.
“I don’t know if it’s possible but that just makes it an even more passionate challenge for me.”
Question: If by some crazy circumstance, Justine Henin wins Wimbledon this year, will she retire before the US Open? Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised.
With Wimbledon as her main objective, she’s keeping her goals realistic Down Under (you know, like the semis.):
“To be honest, I don’t have any big expectations as regards results in Australia.
“But I will be delighted just to return to the country again, I love it there, and to the official circuit.
“I’ve never regretted my decision to stop playing but now I’m really excited about the prospect of starting a second career that probably won’t look anything like the first, at least in my mind.”
Quotes via The Sydney Morning Herald